The NFL will not allow the Dallas Cowboys players to wear a decal on their helmets paying tribute to the police officers who were shot to death in Dallas on July 7.
Five Dallas law enforcement officers were killed in the attack. Six other officers and one civilian were wounded, reports the Dallas Morning News.
The killings, perpetrated a sniper positioned atop nearby buildings, occurred during an otherwise peaceful protest against the fatal shootings by police of Alton Sterling on July 5 in Louisiana, and Philando Castile the following day in Minnesota.
The circular decal, which features a star with the words “Arm in Arm,” was the brainchild of the Cowboys’ star receiver Jason Witten, and the team had been wearing it since the first day of training camp this year, reports Fox News.
Witten, along with team owner Jerry Jones, expressed disappointment over the decision, but agreed that the decal had already served its purpose. The team’s official response was one of deference to the league’s authority, and its strict rules on uniforms, reports the Dallas Morning News.
Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones, son of the owner, said "Everyone has to be uniform with the league and the other 31 teams ... We respect their decision."
He elaborated by rhetorically asking: "There are so many wonderful, wonderful causes, the league has to be careful ... If you allow one, then what do you do about every team that has a great reason to have something on their helmets? There are tons of things out there that need to be recognized. Once you open that Pandora's box, how do you ever stop?"
As for the Dallas police, it expressed appreciation for the team’s support.
In an official statement, the department said “Their concern for the families of our fallen officers, the Dallas Police Department, and the City of Dallas is what matters most, and we know that support will continue for the immediate and long term future.”